Each year the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) hosts approximately four mini-conventions at various certified court reporting schools in the United States. This year Gadsden State Community College was chosen to serve as a host site. The convention is geared for students but is conducted in the same manner as the national convention. The conference held recently was funded by the National Court Reporters Association, and 24 students attended this event along with the Gadsden State faculty and staff of the Realtime Reporting Program.
The purpose of the convention was to encourage, educate, and motivate the students. The focus was not on the continuing education credits that they received by attending but rather to help the students understand more about the profession of court reporting, new technological developments and how to network with others in the same profession.
Bruce Matthews, chief court reporter for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio, was the keynote speaker. He currently serves as the secretary/treasurer of the NCRA, a 20,000 member association representing court reporters and providers of captioning and realtime transcription services for the legal, broadcasting, business, government, and educational communities throughout the United States.
The impressive panel of presenters included Marybeth Everhart, national marketing manager for Realtime Coach. A native of Pennsylvania, she has taught at all levels and worked as a freelance reporter in the Baltimore-Washington area and a reporter in Brisbane, Australia. Gadsden Judge Allen Millican and his court reporter, Janet Hereford, presented a program that enlightened the students on the advantages of linking the judge’s laptop to the stenotype machine. Sabrina Lewis, official court reporter for the United States District Court in Birmingham, spoke to the students about the pros and cons of the profession. Karen Ruud, a captioner for 22 years at the National Captioning Institute, also shared some of her experiences and knowledge with the students.
Terri Towe, Gadsden State court reporting instructor, was extremely proud that Gadsden State was chosen to host the convention. Towe and Lynette Eggers, assistant director of educational services for NCRA, worked together to coordinate the convention. Towe said, “This is the first time we have been chosen to host a mini-convention and you would have thought that we’d won a million dollar sweepstakes. Our faculty, staff, and students couldn’t have been more excited.” For many of the students the expense of attending the national convention is too much of a challenge. This year the national convention will be held in Las Vegas.
For more information concerning realtime reporting or closed captioning at Gadsden State contact Terri Towe at 256-549-8627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.